First impressions "How should i open my presentation?" is a question we get asked often.…
There will lots of times when you will want to create a presentation that’s different and ‘wakes people up’. In this case you can create your own unique structure.
Our suggestion is to create a Talk Map. This is a variation of Tony Buzan’s Mind Map. Take a plain sheet of A4 paper and in landscape format draw a circle in the centre in which you’re going to write the point of your point. At the top of the page write who your audience is and the time you have for the talk. This will help you to focus on your audience and the time.
Then draw about 10 ‘legs’ from the centre circle. Write on each leg one main idea that you have for your talk. Don’t worry at this stage about the order, and include everything that’s in your mind – you can delete stuff later. Now develop each main idea with subsidiary ‘legs’ and write in your secondary ideas. Before you finish you will have a page of ideas and thoughts which, even though it may look chaotic, will give you your unique structure.
When you’ve got as many ideas as you can, start to think of the order of these ideas. At this stage don’t worry about the Opening and the Closing, as you can add these later. What’s important now is your content and making your point. Simply circle the ideas that you’re going to use and number them in the order you’ll bring them in.
Our experience is that this process creates a lot of ideas, some of which you won’t have time to use. Be ruthless about which ideas you choose to use. Beware of the temptation to fill your talk with everything you know. This will just confuse your audience. Far better to focus on your major point with a few good stories than overwhelm them with too many ideas.
Once you have your order you can then write a list. Then you can start to develop the flow of the talk and how to introduce the stories and points you will want to make.
By the way, we prefer to use pen and paper for developing a Talk Map as that’s what we’re used to, though there are many online versions that you can use. One that is very easy to use is SimpleMind.